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FUNERAL MASS FOR TEDDY GLEASON, FORMER ILA PRESIDENT, THIS WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30, AT ST. PATRICK'S CATHEDRAL

 NEW YORK, Dec. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Thomas W. (Teddy) Gleason, president emeritus of the International Longshoremen's Association, AFL-CIO, who passed away at age 92 on Christmas Eve, will have his funeral mass celebrated at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Wednesday, December 30, at 10 a.m.
 Family members will also receive guests on Monday and Tuesday at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home, 81st Street and Madison Avenue, in Manhattan. The hours of the wake are 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
 The former ILA president, who led the union for nearly a quarter of a century, passed away Thursday afternoon at Cabrini Medical Center. He had been admitted on late Tuesday evening (December 23). The cause of his death was heart failure.
 "We have lost a great leader and a great man," said the current ILA president, John Bowers. Mr. Bowers served as executive vice president from 1963 to 1987, the time of the Gleason presidency. "I've noted before that Teddy Gleason will go down in history as the president who was able to get the most for his members. His memory will long endure."
 Teddy Gleason joined the ILA as a young teenager in 1915. He would say in later years: "I paid two dollars to join the ILA. I never thought it was going to turn out like this.
 He worked a variety of jobs on the docks in Manhattan: checker, billing clerk, longshoreman, winch driver, truck loader and timekeeper. By 1932 he had advanced to dock superintendent.
 But his steady rise on the docks came to an abrupt halt when stevedoring companies and steamship lines banded together to blacklist Gleason because of his increasing union activity with the ILA.
 Thus, at the height of Great Depression and cut off from the longshoring industry, Gleason was forced to work marathon hours at two jobs to support his wife and children. By day he pushed a hand truck in a sugar factory, and at night he sold frankfurters at Brooklyn's Coney Island.
 With the coming of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal" Administration and the legal recognition of unions, Gleason was able to return to his trade and his union work. Shortly thereafter, he became president and business agent of Checkers' Local 1346 in the ILA. Local 1346 would eventually merge with three other checkers' locals to form Local 1, which Gleason headed as its president for more than three decades.
 He was elected general organizer of the ILA in 1953. In 1961 he assumed the post of ILA executive vice president and became the union's chief contract negotiator with waterfront employers. Two years later, in 1963, he was elected international president.
 Long recognized as one of the country's most dynamic and progressive labor officials, Gleason's leadership was first given international recognition in early 1965 with his election to office in the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF). This worldwide labor body, which represents more than six million transport workers in 78 countries of the free world, later elected Gleason a vice president in 1974.
 Gleason led ILA during a period of dramatic developments and innovations that reshaped the longshore and shipping industries.
 Automation, mainly in the form of containerization, brought tremendous gains for shippers and carriers in terms of productivity but also meant a loss of manhours for ILA members. Gleason recognized early on that ILA members needed protection against this loss and he was instrumental in securing a landmark Guaranteed Annual Income (GAI) program that allowed for automation to flourish while protecting and rewarding the contributions of ILA members whose lives and livelihoods were invested in the industry.
 Gleason's contributions to the labor movement extended beyond the ILA. As a vice president on the executive council of the AFL-CIO, both former president George Meany and the current leader, Lane Kirkland, called on Gleason to put his international labor expertise to work in trouble spots around the globe.
 The U.S. State Department also looked to Gleason for help. In 1965 the ILA president responded to a request from U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk to investigate the movement of wartime cargo in the Port of Saigon, Vietnam, in order to recommend a program to relieve congestion.
 His efforts in Vietnam received recognition from the U.S. Veterans of Foreign Wars, which honored Gleason with its 1967 Medal of Merit. In 1984 the U.S. Army, citing the ILA's commitment to continue to flow of cargo during military emergencies, presented Gleason with its Patriotic Civilian Service Award, the highest honor of its kind ever presented to non-military personnel.
 Countless other civic and fraternal organizations have honored Gleason through the years where he has served on numerous committees and executive boards.
 Gleason was the 1974 recipient of the Admiral of the Ocean Sea Award (AOTOS) by United Seaman's Service, which is considered the top maritime award in America.
 Gleason's greatest honor relating to his association with Irish American activities occurred on March 17, 1984 -- St. Patrick's Day -- when he served as grand marshall for the St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York City and led more than 150,000 marchers up Manhattan's Fifth Avenue. Of the honor, Teddy Gleason said then: "It took me 80 years to get from 12th Avenue to Fifth Avenue."
 Gleason holds an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Molloy College in Rockville Centre, New York, which he received in 1980.
 Gleason's wife, Emma Martin, died in 1961. Gleason is survived by three sons: Thomas Jr., John and Robert; 14 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
 -0- 12/26/92
 /CONTACT: Jim McNamara of ILA, 212-425-1200, or home, 914-633-8825/


CO: International Longshoremen's Association ST: New York IN: SU:

MA -- NYSA004 -- 9925 12/26/92 16:36 EST
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